Members of “For the Development of Science” initiative Davit Petrosyan and Yuri Avagyan have announced a hunger strike, locking themselves in one of the auditoriums of the Physics Department of Yerevan State University.
Davit, the initiative coordinator, explained his decision in the following way, “There were negotiations for a month, during which we met the Education Minister, Defense Minister, Deputy Minister, 4 high-ranking officials. The negotiations did not yield any results. It was noted that concessions will be made. However, there have been no concessions. At first it was said that exceptionally talented students shall pass, two days ago the President said that there should be genius students. They suggest that we propose criteria for genius students, but we do not have them”.
YSU Rector Aram Simonyan interpreted the action of the students fighting against the bill on the elimination of right of military deferment the following way, “They entered the auditorium today. They are famous figures, they have come from Poland, from the conference or meeting organized by that famous Soros foundation. Naturally, perhaps, they have received certain assignments, and have entered the auditorium in the morning and have started a hunger strike”.
In response to the rector’s statement, Davit Petrosyan informed that he participated in the winter school organized by the European Platform for Democratic Elections (EPDE), and he was invited to the event as an observers’ coordinator at “Citizen Observer” initiative during parliamentary elections in April, (you can see Davit Petrosyan’s invitation letter here).
“I have shown them the invitation letter, he (Mr. Simonyan) has the document, they know the purpose of my visit”, the activist student noted. Thus, according to Davit Petrosyan, when making the false statement, the YSU rector was aware that it was not true.
Note that in December 11-15, a 5-day winter school was organized in Poland by the European Platform for Democratic Elections (EPDE), in which representatives of observer organizations from Eastern Partnership countries and Russia participated. About twenty Armenian representatives from “Citizen Observer” and “Independent Observer” missions participated in the event.
The agenda of the event can be found here. Neither the event nor the European Platform for Democratic Elections have have been funded by the “Open Society Foundations” commonly referred to as the “Soros Foundation”. The European Platform for Democratic Elections has observed numerous elections in the region (including the 2017 parliamentary elections) and is considered one of the most competent international NGOs in the world.
It should be added that Yuri Avagyan, the second activist on hunger strike, told us that he has never been to Poland.